Knee replacement surgery, also called knee arthroplasty, is a common surgery performed almost 1 million times a year. The surgery has an excellent long-term track record, with a low complication rate and a high satisfaction rate. More than 90% of people who have total knee replacement surgery have positive long-term results with a drastic reduction in pain and improved flexibility and mobility.
With only a 2% rate of severe complications, you would think that anyone with knee pain or some form of osteoarthritis would sign up for such a surgery.
While knee replacement therapy is often a success, it is still an invasive procedure and comes with some risks. It can take several months to recover fully, and you must commit to physical therapy for maximum benefits.
Fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon Bryan King, MD, at Tuscaloosa Orthopedic & Joint Institute in Northport, Alabama, offers some things to consider if you’re thinking of getting a knee replacement.
Several types of arthritis can affect your knee. Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis and the most common reason for knee replacement therapy.
Rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation and can lead to pain and stiffness, and arthritis that develops due to a traumatic injury are other conditions that may lead to the need for a knee replacement.
Many people experience knee tweaks or pain now and then. Still, if your pain has lasted for a while and interferes with your daily activities such as getting out of bed, walking up and downstairs, and sleep, you may be a good candidate for a knee replacement surgery.
Excess pounds can put pressure on your lower joints, which can cause pain and mobility issues. If you’re overweight or obese, one of the first steps you should try before discussing a knee replacement surgery is to lose weight.
Usually, doctors ask that people try noninvasive treatment options first before considering surgery. Some of these options include:
The results of knee replacement surgery can last 15 years or more, so if you plan on staying active into your golden years through sports such as running, hiking, tennis, and skiing, knee replacement surgery may be the right option for you.
If knee pain is interfering with your daily activities, make an appointment with Dr. King. Call our Northport, Alabama, office at 205-354-2679. You can also send a message to Dr. King and the team here on our website.